When I started my first business, 8+ years ago, I was on a mission to teach business owners what I’m about to teach you in this video, but they weren’t interested and some couldn’t even understand the concept.
However, today, it’s a completely different story.
Most businesses have a blog, and based on testing I recently did on twitter, a lot of people are still interested in figuring out how to best utilize their blogs.
But over the past couple of months of working with several new clients, I’ve been surprised to discover that at least 90% of business owners are failing with their blogs.
Why is it being under utilized?
Simply because the majority still don’t understand the potential and how to use it.
They just started doing it because it became a fade, or because they heard some marketer tell them they should have one.
Now don’t worry, this is NOT another one of those pep-talks on “Business Blogging”! In fact, those pep-talks are part of the problem.
Let me explain.
My blog, chrisegg.com, has produced more qualified leads and sales then any other single organic campaign I’ve ever implemented.
My secret …
I write articles that solve the problems and answer the questions my audience (ideal clients) were experiencing and asking.
Sounds pretty simple right?
The good news is that it really is that simple!
I put out quality content, my target customers consume it, like they would an online program or membership site.
So why does this work so well?
The articles and tutorials I wrote showcased my expertise and highlighted my ability to help people solve their problems.
And when they got tired of trying to do it themselves, frustrated by how long it’s taking, overwhelmed by how complex it is, and tired of trying to learn new technical stuff, they hired me to take over.
Now let’s think about this concept a little differently…
I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’re hearing about this concept of blogging.
That’s why I want to get you thinking about your blog like a product.
In the age of information, it’s not finding the information, it’s finding the right information. Our job is to provide the right information our customers are looking for. And the information we provide needs to provide the value our customers are demanding or they’ll look somewhere else for the pain relief they need.
Now, how to treat your blog like a product.
For years we’ve heard people talking about how to use your blog as a platform for your content marketing. Which is excellent advice by the way. After all, that is what I did!
Generally, those that actually use their blog, are doing it to capture attention.
Each article you write, video you post, or podcast you publish might have a distinctive purpose or goal, but your blog overall, is an informational product.
As I already mentioned, my blog has been consumed like a product by my target customers for years. Although it’s a “free” product, I have a couple different processes or funnels that lead to sales from my blog.
Let me share two examples:
- In many of the articles I write, I show people how to solve their problems with 3rd party products or resources that I’m an affiliate for. When my readers buy the product or resource I get a commission.
- My blog encourages readers to request website reviews, consultations, and other done-for-you services which they pay me to do.
Instead of thinking of your blog as just a content platform or a marketing tool. Try to figure out how you can use it as the bait or first step in your sales funnel.
Let me share two more blog product examples:
- Membership sites
I know developers who have blogged for years, sharing tutorials and tricks for building websites or implementing cool functionality.
Their blogs received so much interest that they were able to turn them into membership sites, restricting access to their content so that they could charge for access.
And on the other hand, I know people that would never restrict access to a blog that was once public and start charging their readers to access it because of fear.
Afraid they would lose readers or make people mad.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, you’re going to make some people mad, that’s a part of business.
But at the same time, you’ll sell more memberships than the amount of readers you lose.
I know from first-hand experience!
I recently subscribed to a blog that was once free because I had come to depend on the tutorials and knowledge of the author to help me in my work.
I did resist for about a month. But when I realized how much more efficient his blog made me, I gave in and paid the man!
I wasn’t concerned about whether or not I’d get any value, I already new he was an expert programmer. He had already helped me more times then I could remember. I just didn’t want another monthly subscription.
- Digital Blog to Printed Book
I’ve also seen people take the content they published on their blogs and turn it into a printed book, a paper back that they actually sell in stores!
The content is still freely accessible on the site, but because people are willing to pay for convenience, they order the book!
Here’s the catch to turning your blog into a product…
You’ll need a real strategy if you’re going to do this right.
I mention this need for a strategy because so few people actually create a strategy for their blog, which is why it’s either not working or not being used at all.
And a key part of your strategy needs to include creating and publishing evergreen content!
First the What and Why of Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is often referred to by SEO strategists because it’s good for search engine ranking, but that’s not why I’m mentioning it here.
I care first about the audience or the readers. I want to be sure that the content is useful for them. Whether they read it the day I write it or a year later.
And that is what “Evergreen Content” is, content that is continually relevant and useful.
I get that in some topics, that’s hard to do. But there are core concepts in every topic that never change.
Since I mentioned SEO…
Search Engine Optimization is a topic that is constantly evolving as the search engines update algorithms and create new rules.
But SEO has a few core concepts, that if you focus your content around, it will be useful regardless of how many changes Google makes because those core concepts are at the heart of Google’s objectives.
For the second example, there is a website that has been publishing content since 2006 on the topic of internet marketing and their content, even if you went all the way back to archive page 266, is still relevant today.
I just did this in fact, and I clicked on the first article, written in 2006, “Sold”, then I looked in the comments and saw this:
Oh, and I’ll add, all but one of the nine comments were written in 2011. So not only was it still relevant, but it had way more impact 5 years latter.
Before we get into a strategy, we need to address the requirements for productizing your blog.
My 7 Requirements for Productizing Your Blog
Below is a list of requirements you’ll need to include in your strategy to successfully treat your blog like a product and more fully utilize it.
- Be Consistent
- Educate Your Audience
- Repurpose Content
- Provide A Solution
- Make it Multi Channel
- Use Calls to Action
- Always be Closing
As you start to build an audience, they will expect consistency, especially if you’re providing content that is helping them in their daily lives.
This is a huge responsibility and the number 1 killer of most content driven strategies.
Consistency builds trust and dependence. Two factors that help build a following and bring people back to your content.
Educate Your Audience
Your goal, when producing and publishing content, should be to provide as much value as you possibly can.
To provide answers and solutions that help each member in your audience improve their lives, on a regular bases.
Let me re-share an example of how this works.
My background is in web development, and there were a few other developers I relied on for help when I need to learn something new or figure out how to do something.
Their blogs are loaded with hundreds of tutorials, and if I couldn’t find one, I could tweet that I need to know how to do something, and they’d crank out a tutorial.
Awesome right? That’s adding value through education.
For a long time, their blogs were free to access, no restrictions. But recently, they turned their blogs into membership sites, restricting access to their tutorials to paid members.
Did I subscribe? Absolutely! Was it a hard sale? No, I already knew the value that was locked away.
Most of my clients find me because they’re struggling with the technical aspects of launching their businesses so they’re usually shocked when I tell them the hardest part isn’t the tech, it’s producing the content.
The hard part is writing those blog post, recording the podcast, creating the webinar slides, etc…
This is why I always advise my clients to create with repurposing in mind.
Thinking, how will I be able to use this article, or podcast in a different way?
In my course, 90 Day Launch Formula, the first 30 days is all about blogging. There is a very specific strategy, but by the end of the first 30 days, you have at least 12 new articles on 4 different topics.
That is enough content to create a simple training program or a powerful educational webinar.
Personally, I’ve taken a popular blog post, expand on it and turned it into a webinar.
You don’t have to create new content, just reproduce it in a different way.
Provide A Solution
I’ve already mentioned the value of producing content that helps people in their daily lives, but it’s important that you understand this is the key to making that happen.
It doesn’t have to be every piece of content you publish, but most of the stuff you share should offer a specific solution to a specific problem.
This training is a good example of that. Hopefully!
My goal is to teach you how to turn your blog into a product that people cant get enough of.
Make it Multi Channel
This training you’re watching right now, has been used in three different channels.
The text was published as an article on my blog, there is a condensed version that was recorded as a podcast, and there’s this version delivered as a full blown training.
I could also break it down into short social media post that I can share on my social media profiles. I’m not going to share the whole article, but I can pull out the parts that will spark the most interest and response.
Use Calls to Action
You might have a call to action on your page, like in the sidebar, but how well does it convert?
If you have a call to action in your sidebar that invites people to join your mailing list, that’s a hard close when the traffic is cold and coming from a Google search.
Now, what if the first third of your blog pages were a call to action inviting people to register for your up coming webinar?
Or what if at the end of your blog post you added an optin for your free course or an ebook download?
You’re calls to action don’t need to be directly related to your blog post, but it needs to be related to your topic.
And the copy on your calls to action should be strong and persuasive.
You could make your blog post a focused piece on educating your readers on why they should subscribe or optin for your webinar, ebook, ecourse, etc… In this approach, your call to action would be within the body of your copy.
Try these ideas, you’ll be surprised by the results.
Always be Closing
Not like a sleazy car salesman, but never be afraid to invite someone to take action on your offers.
If you don’t ask for the sale, you won’t get any sales.
Everything you do should be encouraging people to take action and move through your funnels.
Another part of closing is getting referrals. You should always be inviting people to share, forward, like, and comment on your content.
These actions get word-of-mouth going and now your readers are doing your marketing for you.
But you’ve got to ask them to do it.
In a test we performed, we discovered that we received the most shares and comments when we asked people a total of 4 times in a single video, post, and podcast.
It would work like this, once in the beginning, once half way through, once before the close, and one final time after the close, this is the last thing you do.
Like any product launch, you wouldn’t just ask for the sale once! You’d send several emails, right up to closing time.
Now let’s talk about a strategy for actually implementing what you’re learning here today.
Here is the key to any great strategy.
And by that I mean you can improve upon it and change it along the way, or you can trash it completely and start over from a new prospective.
Let me explain why…
If you implement a strategy and commit to it for 12 months, but after 6 you’re not seeing the results you expected, you need to review the data and see what needs to be improved or changed.
Evaluating the data offers a new prospective which allows you to then make smarter decisions about your strategy.
This strategy I’m going to share with you is meant to be a guide or starting point. My hope is that you will mold it to fit your business objectives.
30 Day Blogging Campaign
Step One: Pick 4 topics associated with your business, niche, product, service, etc…
Example: If my audience is interested in learning more about internet marketing then I might pick these four topics:
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Traffic Hacks 101
Recommendation: Use a Editorial Calendar, I like to use Asana for planing my content.
Step Two: Assign 1 topic to each week of the month. Then create 5 article titles, one for each day of the week, on that weeks topic.
Week 1: Content Marketing
- How to use your content to market your products (Tuesday)
- Is Content Marketing Dead? (Monday)
- My 5 part framework for writing naturally optimized content (Friday)
- How to use your blog post to find new consulting clients (Wednesday)
- Is Business Blogging really worth the effort? (Thursday)
Week 2 – 4: (repeat)
Note: You don’t have to create all your content in one day or one week. Setup a schedule that works best for you, but make sure there is new content every day.
Recommendation: In my editorial calendar I would write the topic, then the title of the article I plan to right and assign it to a specific date.
Step Three: Creating your content. Publish one article per business day for the next 30 days. By the end of the month you should have published at least 20 articles on 4 different topics.
Note: Depending on how disciplined you are you can do this a couple different ways. 1. You could set aside 5 hours one day, Sunday or Monday, to write all your content for the week, then just schedule the publication. 2. You can write each article the day of or the night before the scheduled publication date.
Recommendation: Focus on one week at a time. That way you can focus your research and crank out some awesome content. Additionally, you should use at least one image in your articles.
Step Four: Promote your content using social media and email. You’ll need to create 4 tweets, 4 Google+ post, 4 Facebook post, and 1 email per article you publish.
Article: Is Content Marketing Dead?
- Twitter Post 1: Are you still #blogging? Didn’t you hear #contentmarketing is dead!! Read more => https://linktoarticle.com
- Twitter Post 2: Did you see today’s post about the death of #contentmarketing? Check it out => https://linktoarticle.com
- Twitter Post 3-4: (repeat with 2 new tweets)
Then repeat for Facebook and Google+
Email: I would send an email each day to my list with a summary of the blog post and asking them to read it on my blog. This is going to get your warm market alert to your new activity and more warmed up for your next pitch.
Note: This promotion is inline with publication, not done at the end of the 30 days or end of the week. When you publish a post to your blog, you should then schedule your social post and send your email.
Recommendation: Use a service like Buffer to schedule your social posts. Your social post should be posted throughout the day and maybe even spaced out over a couple days.
Remember, each week you’ll have 20 tweets, 20 Google+ post, and 20 Facebook post (5 post x 4 social post per network). For email I’d use a service like MailChimp for sending the emails. Nice thing with MailChimp you can setup an RSS feed campaign that will automatically email your list when you publish a new article on your blog.
That would be the end of this first strategy. After 30 days you’ll have 20 articles, a warmer warm market, and new social media followers that you can invite to a webinar, pitch a product to, or just keep feeding them awesome content.
If nothing happens, no new subscribers or followers, no new purchases etc… This campaign was still a huge success.
You’ve learned how to get disciplined about creating content, and developed some new strategies for promoting your content.
But you also have a bunch of new content you can use to create a webinar series, a new coaching program, or even a nice sized ebook you can sell.
And that is what makes your blog you most valuable product, the content that will help people improve their lives. The more of that you have, the more people are willing to pay to access it.
I’d also recommend you read ProBlogger’s book, 31 Days to a Better Blog.
My blog has fueled my business with leads and sales because I’ve treated it like a product.
I’ve created content to add value to my audience and help them grow their business.
My blog continues to serve my audience, like a free product. People can continually access the relevant information they need to learn new skills, and grow their business.
Start today to create evergreen content that will serve your audience for years.